A simple way to prevent a burnout and to help you restore, renew, and just generally feel like a sane and strong human being, is better sleep. Sweet sweet sleep! When you get enough of it, the world just feels like a different place. Problems feel more surmountable, and disagreements feel work-through-able. And when you don’t get enough, hoo boy, everything feels way bigger, harder, and more annoying.
Luckily, there’s a way to get better sleep that might surprise you. In fact, it’s as easy as flipping a switch.
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What Do Electromagnetic Frequencies (EMF) Have to Do with Better Sleep?
I recently discovered something that helps me sleep better every time and it’s something you don’t often hear about. And that is turning off your WiFi router before you go to bed.
Well, actually, I learned this a while ago because my true “job” is ghostwriter. And last year, I ghosted a book for a doctor all about the physiological effects of electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs). There are the electrical and magnetic fields that are emitted by any of the frequencies on the electromagnetic spectrum. Including: visible light, microwaves, radio waves, and the frequencies that are used by our cellphones, cordless phones, and and our wireless internet.
Because our bodies run on electricity–we are affected by all these natural and manmade EMFs. This book I worked on was several hundred pages long but to boil it down into a nutshell, EMFs disrupt the function of your cellular membranes and let in too much calcium. Which is excitatory, and then calcium gets out of balance to magnesium, which is relaxing. This means we get overstimulated all the time, including when we’re trying to sleep.
Sensitivities to EMFs
Some folks are more sensitive to EMFs than others. Some people can literally feel them as a vibration in their body. And others just notice symptoms that accompany them. I am one of the latter group of folks. I never realized this until we started camping with our kids. The campground where we went the first few years had a cellphone tower on it, that we had to hike right by on our short walk in to our campsite.
Every year I felt like the Saturday day of that camping trip was one of the worst days of my year. I had never slept well the night before and had a terrible, terrible headache. I chalked it up to sleeping outside and drinking wine around the campfire before going to bed and basically not sleeping all. But it finally dawned on me our third annual trip there that the terrible headache was exactly the same every year, and so was the not sleeping. The cellphone tower was playing a role. I didn’t just feel bad, I felt sick.
Turn Off Your Wifi
The same thing happens with wifi routers. Not in my house, where we have ours in the basement, and EMF exposure reduces exponentially with distance. But anytime we stay in a house where the router is on the same floor as the bedroom, I pretty much lie awake all night. It happened just two nights ago.
We are currently staying in an AirBnb for a family funeral, RIP Grampy, and the first night I didn’t think to turn the wifi off. And I was up until 4 am, just lying there, despite the fact that I was genuinely tired and typically sleep pretty well. I noticed my daughter didn’t sleep well either, so I think she’s also sensitive to them. And believe me the next day was ROUGH as she and I were both cranky. The second night, I remembered to turn the wifi off and we both slept like a rock, even though it was hot and the AC was broken.
The Key To Better Sleep
This isn’t just my anecdotal experience. There are multiple research studies that show a link between wifi and impaired sleep. You can check those out on my friend Katy Bowman’s blog. (And you’ll get a lot more ideas about how to make your sleep more healthful!). The references to these articles are at the bottom of the article. You can also search for “sleep and EMF” at scholar.google.com
If you go to look up ways to improve your sleep, you get the same basic–and good–advice over and over again. Make your bedroom a sleep sanctuary, make sure the temperature is cool in your bedroom, block out all light, don’t look at screens before bed. It’s all good advice. But none of it might really get you the sleep you need and are capable of getting if you too are sensitive to EMFs and you are bathing in them all night.
Daily Tiny Assignment
Your tiny assignment is to just try switching off your wifi router before you go to bed tonight. You can turn it right back on again when you wake up. Just see if you notice a difference. Sleep is when your body detoxifies and repairs, and you don’t want to be giving it something extra to deal with during this time. Also, you just don’t need internet access while you’re sleeping, am I right? So really take the opportunity to go dark. It will also save on your electricity consumption.
If you love it, you can get an automatic timer, which will have the added benefit of enforcing some screen-free, stream-free time in your house. So, who knew? Sleeping better can literally be as easy as flicking a switch. It’s just maybe not a switch that you ever considered had anything to do with sleep!
Try Some of These Awesome and Natural Sleep Remedies
If you’re interested in more natural sleep remedies, I do love the sleep masks at Manta.com. And the CBDsoft gels that also have melatonin in them from Therapist Preferred, which you can save 20% off of by using the code ‘katehanley’ and therapistpreferred.com.
Wishing you some great sleep tonight, and all nights.
Take The Survey:
As I plan out episodes for the rest of the year, I would love to hear what’s getting in the way of you feeling like a better person. Please go to https://tinyurl.com/betterpersonsurvey to take a super short survey that tells me the #1 thing you struggle with when it comes to being better. Your voice matters and what you have to say really influences my thinking so much. I want to make sure I’m making future episodes that really help, and your taking this survey is a crucial pat of that. Thank you in advance!